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‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’: Why This Is Disturbing To Some People

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by G. Brown

When Disney announced that it was doing a live-action reboot of its beloved children’s film “The Little Mermaid” millions of fans cheered.  When Disney announced it was casting a Black actress in the lead role of Ariel-the cheering turned to hatemongering and protest cries of #NotMyAriel.

Teen actress Halle Bailey landed the prime role for the forthcoming remake of a young rebellious mermaid who loves singing but is willing to risk silencing that voice forever in a bid to win at love.

The Atlanta born actress has the acting chops for this role thanks to appearances in film’s like last year’s “A Wrinkle in Time” and 2006’s “Last Holiday”. But we all know  Bailey’s ability isn’t at the center of these protests.

Some argue  “The Little Mermaid”  was originally based on a fairytale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen thus Ariel is Danish and therefore can’t be Black.   Never met any Danes, but Black people can be Danish one would imagine   Even if they can’t, it doesn’t matter because Ariel is fictitious and can be whatever the film’s creator (in this case Disney) decides.

Some have also argued that Black people aren’t born with red hair like the cartoon Ariel from 30 years ago.  We won’t dignify that stupidity with a comment. Instead,  we’ll let some fanart say it for us…

Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is another beloved children’s classic.  It’s not just the heartwarming story of a young girl who is an outsider overcoming the odds and winning at the end that endears us to this tale. It’s the entire experience…our comfort…our memories that encase the movie. It’s the memory of childhood and going to experience the movie with our family friends or as new parents taking out children.  It’s that comfort zone that we’ve kept hidden away for years.  Now, for some people, Disney is coming to rewrite those memories.  To tamper with that comfort of the narrative they grew to love.

“The Little Mermaid” is a story about good defeating evil, overcoming obstacles, combatting stereotypes, learning acceptance–all doctrines we want to instill in children.  So you see the hypocrisy of adults protesting a remake based on the decision to cast a Black actress in a role that has nothing to do with race.

It is mindboggling that people muster enough imagination to believe in mermaids and love, but lack enough love for all color of peoples to believe that a Black actress can be a mermaid.

As for protests and threats of boycotting the movie, pretty sure Disney won’t care.  Disney didn’t care when people griped about Will Smith as the Genie in Aladdin—and look at what a blockbuster that turned out to be.

All those people protesting not my Ariel…they are absolutely right.  She’s not your Ariel. Ariel belongs to those with the purity of heart who know how to glean the moral of the story without letting hatred, bigotry, and racism blind them from it.  Those people are in the words of  “The Little Mermaid’s” underwater villain Ursula nothing but poor, unfortunate souls.

 

 

 

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    NBA is fixed

    July 12, 2019 at 2:29 am

    Fact: Disney casts a black girl to play Ariel in The Little Mermaid.

    Fact: When The Little Mermaid was first released, there was a picture of a golden penis and testicles on the movie poster.

    Is there a connection? What is Disney trying to say?

  2. Avatar

    johnnie evans sr.

    July 11, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    Now they see how African-Americans filled When hollywood Had a all white cast in the kings of Egypt…

  3. Avatar

    NBA is fixed

    July 11, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    Disney cast several black actors for the Lion King remake. Disney has cast a black woman to play Ariel in The Little Mermaid remake. Disney realizes what the NFL, the NBA and Nike have known for over twenty years. Black people will spend money! The rats in Burbank made so much money from Black Panther (over one billion dollars), they decided to cast a black actress for The Little Mermaid. More black dollars will go into Disney’s bank account. Once again black people give Hollywood billions of dollars, thus saving Hollywood from bankruptcy.

  4. Avatar

    NBA is fixed

    July 11, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Let’s be honest, how would you feel if Disney cast a white man to play Black Panther or a white woman to play Storm? Many of you are angry that Hollywood cast two light skin black actresses (Halle Berry, Alexandra Shipp) to play Storm. Ariel is white people’s fantasy just like Storm is our fantasy. In my opinion Hollywood must stay consistent with the original source material.

    PS: There is a rumor that Disney may cast Natalie Emanuel as Storm. Natalie Emanuel is a very light skin British actress.

  5. Avatar

    Shawn J.

    July 11, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Whoever Disney picks to be in whatever Disney movie is their (own) business-enough said!

  6. Avatar

    Shawn J.

    July 11, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Whoever Disney picks to play whoever in whatever Disney movie is their business-enough said!

  7. Avatar

    JOANN JOHNSON

    July 11, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    Am I missing something here? These characters are fictional- therefore can be imagined as any race, creed or color desired. Meantime there are more important issues to be addressed, such as the state of our country!

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